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After this week in the NFL, I feel like I might need to shed my old-school thinking that a quarterback is not worthy of a first-round draft pick in my fantasy football league. I always refuse to spend my first two picks on anything besides a running back or wide receiver (yes, I have never drafted Peyton.), but I always feel like I get a decent QB (usually Cam Newton and, you know, Cam Newton…) This week, I might adjust my mindset, especially after Newton’s week. Next year, you will see me spending my first round pick for Andrew Luck over LeSean McCoy every single time.

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I’ve made some changes to the Stats Machine (TSM) this week in hopes to present more accurate data. While this is a weekly post that highlights the previous week’s top performances, TSM also provides a year-to-date report to help you identify valuable players. Until now, this has been based on the players’ total score for the season. The problem with that is that it punishes players that have already had a bye, as they will have had one less game than players that have not. Until all teams have had their bye week, this list will be powered by each players’ average score per game. Got it? Good.

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“I need a new helmet. OMAHA. Yeah, that’s right, my head’s growing at a rapid rate. OMAHA. ROMO. ELWAY. OMAHA. New helmet on one! SET. OMAHA.”

Well, it would be hard for me to analyze this game with an unbiased viewpoint, seeing as how I’m pretty obvious homer. But hey, at least I’m obvious. That being said, I’d have to say that Mike Carey and myself could have probably been best friends. Essentially every decision he called last night was the opposite of what the refs decided, because, let’s be honest here, the officiating was complete sh*t. A crucial special teams fumble by Denver was called back, even though replays clearly showed the ball moving before the player was down, allowing Petyon Manning to drive for a touchdown before the half. In the third quarter, a Philip Rivers interception that was caught on the ground, with movement, was not overturned. A crucial redzone interception by Eric Weddle was called back because of a defensive holding penalty, which, might I add, was way before the 5-yard mark. And then later, a Juwan Thompson touchdown was confirmed, even though he didn’t break the plane… so… whatever. I suppose things like this happen. At the very least, Ronnie Hillman was negated something like 80 fantasy points, and the Broncos seemed more interested in trolling fantasy players than by any other team I’d seen in recent memory. So even though Denver won, I’m pretty sure most of us lost. Including my liver. What can I say? Misery loves company…

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I thought trading away Percy Harvin was going to solve all your problems? Well, I guess trading away one of your best weapons doesn’t exactly solve terrible play-calling, subpar offensive line play, and very un-special teams play. So, despite the faulty narrative that I’m sure will be thrown about, here we are, CONDITION CRIMSON RED, also the color of Tom Coughlin’s face. As was alluded to early yesterday, imagining an outcome such as this was a fools errand, but it wouldn’t have been the craziest thing to think that the Rams could pull off the upset. And while it took wild and boner inducing events (which is also my pet name for your mom) to take place, the impossible was suddenly possible, and the 2013 Super Bowl champions are now 3-3. Said events (we’ll call them “Cialis”) included a hilarious punt return where Tavon Austin lined up on the left side of the field for the return, and acted like he was about to catch the ball, which drew in the entire Seahawks special teams unit, cameraman in full tow, and then this happened…

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Later in the game, with Seattle needing a big stop for another chance at the win, Tre Mason broke through for a first down on 3rd-and-1, icing the game right then and there, until he was stripped. The ball bounced forward, was covered by a Rams lineman, only to pop out again and be seemingly recovered by Seattle. Replays did show Richard Sherman on top of the ball for a moment, but “technically” there wasn’t enough to overturn the officials call which had rewarded the possession to the Rams. That’s two straight losses for Seattle, a team which is now sitting at .500 on the season. Look on the bright side Seahawks fans. After this third loss, the band wagon crowd should be displeased enough to go away. Not as effective as a meteor, but it’ll have to do.

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If you decided to buck the industry trend this year and draft a quarterback early, there’s a 66 percent chance you are happy. Sure, Aaron Rodgers put up an expected dud in Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks, but since then, he’s been the model of consistency.  There’s also a guy by the name of Peyton Manning that you may have heard of before.  Yeah, he’s pretty good. But then there’s Drew Brees.  Brees was a consensus top three quarterback during drafts, and he went as high as the first round over Manning and Rodgers in certain drafts.  But so far this year, Brees has left much to be desired for fantasy owners.  Thus far on the season, Brees has nine touchdowns, six interceptions and hasn’t topped 375 yards or 23 fantasy points in a game yet.  You’d sign off on those numbers over five games for many quarterbacks, but not for what it cost to get Brees.

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Back in March, ex-Denver Broncos’ running back Knowshon Moreno left the frigid air of the Rocky Mountains for the opportunity to spend this season in sunny South Beach, and believe me, he’s not crying about it.  His one-year deal didn’t take over the media the way another famous athlete did when he left a championship runner-up so he could play in Miami, but it did make his former backup with the Broncos a hot commodity in fantasy football drafts.

Despite gaining just 559 yards on 120 carries in 2013, Montee Ball was the 10th overall player taken in this year’s drafts (according to ADP).  The volume wasn’t there for the rookie out of Wisconsin (Moreno excelled as Peyton Manning‘s go-to back), but you could feel the electricity with Ball.  He had some early-season fumble issues in goal line situations (two in his first three games), but his 4.7 yards per carry was definitely something he could build on. Manning and the Broncos broke nearly every offensive record last year, and that’s a big reason why the second-year pro became such a popular draft pick — but Ball’s season is going down the drain faster than a goldfish with an irresponsible four-year-old for a parent.

Not only had Ball been downright awful in his first three games (165 yards, 3.37 YPC), but he left Sunday’s contest vs. the Cardinals with a groin strain.  News broke that the injury was “a significant one”, but that was later changed to a “two-week timetable”.  Based on what I’ve seen from injuries like this before, as well as his current conditioning (he missed nearly all of training camp after an emergency appendectomy), this has the makings of a much longer absence than what the Broncos are letting on.

So what do you do if you’re a Ball owner?

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This past week was brutally tough on running backs. We saw several of them get injured and there are lead backs who will miss multiple weeks from the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. Factor in Kansas City and New Orleans are on bye this week, and it makes for a minefield of running backs to work through. We’ll help you get through it in this week’s column. Here we go.

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Four score and 7 quarters ago…

Considered by many to be the best time traveling movie ever made, Back to the Future is a must see film of the 80’s. Set in Hill Valley, California, Marty McFly accidentally travels back in time (to 1955) using a flux capacitor-powered DeLorean in an attempt to escape a band of angry Libyans. While there… well you know the rest. And if you don’t, shame on you!

Another time traveling masterpiece that gets much less attention, and in many ways is much more excellent, follows the wild adventures of Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan as they travel back in time with the help of Rufus and his magical phone booth to solicit the help of historic personalities such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, Ludwig van Beethoven and So-crates, to help them pass their history class assignment. That’s right, you guessed it. I’m talking about Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. This movie was so excellent, it even had a much less excellent sequel entitled Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. Believe it or not, I saw this flick in the movie theaters. Shame on me? I was only 14 years old. But even more believe it or not, a third installment to this pseudo legendary saga is currently in the works. So buckle up folks and get ready for another excellent journey!

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